So, at some point, you probably had a thriving email list for your email marketing campaigns. But then gradually, that list became old and neglected. 

The frequency of the newsletters, email adverts, etc., you sent out dwindled or came to a grinding halt. Or perhaps your subscribers lost energy somewhere along the line.

Neglected and old email list

Well, neglect happens, but you should not let all the effort you put into building your list go to waste. Plus, the benefits of an active emailing list and email marketing should give you more reason to revive your email list and re-engage subscribers.

Imagine getting a 3,800% return on investment for every dollar spent on email marketing.

Again, you’re probably worried about emailing your subscribers after such a long hiatus. Not to worry, you already have an existing email list. Therefore, it makes it easier to re-energize subscribers who already have an affinity with your brand.

Now, let’s consider three ways you can re-engage your neglected and old email list.

Identify Your Inactive Subscribers

Before you begin your email list re-engagement campaign, you need to identify inactive subscribers. These are contacts with valid email addresses that haven’t engaged your emails in 6-12 months.

They could also be subscribers could do not fall within your email list segmentation. So you need to define the segment and then export it to view which emails match with what you’ve defined as “inactive.”

You might need to be prepared to lose a good number of contacts from your list. The average email list’s inactive rate is roughly 60%. So if you had a list of 5000 subscribers, you might end up with only 2000.

While this might be disheartening, it’s better to lose the inactive contacts than spend resources with no ROI. Less is more!

Email Verification

Additionally, you can make use of email verifications services. Email verification is a way to point out possible invalid and undeliverable email addresses. They also help to decrease your bounce rate and maximize the impact of your email marketing strategies.

Understand Why Your Subscribers Stopped Engaging

Another step to take is to understand why your subscribers stopped engaging your emails. While some might not even be aware, they have been disengaged from your brand. Others just probably needed a break or did not find your email content relevant.

The easiest way to get your answer is to ask for feedback and their emailing preferences. When you know what the subscriber wants, you can find ways to personalize your email campaigns and improve engagement.

One of the first emails you should send out when re-engaging your contacts is an apology. Explain to them what you’ve been up to since you went silent. And what they should expect from your brand. Your apology email can start with an:

  • “We are sorry.”
  • “Our most sincere apologies.”
  • How do we make it up to you?”
  • “Remember us?”
  • “We have messed up big-time.”
  • “Will you forgive us?” etc.

Follow up with Actionable Email Series

After your apology email, then you can go on with consistent, actionable emails. These emails should provide solutions to the subscriber’s possible challenges.

Let them know that you are back, and show them how your brand can help. You want to share with your email list contact the level of your expertise.

And why you are worth listening to now.

The series of actionable emails should be helpful and easy to implement. If email content writing is not one of your strongest skills, you can outsource.

There are custom writing reviews like Online Writers Rating that provide copywriting for your email content. Remember, the goal is to remind the contact why they signed up with your brand in the first instance.

Offer an Irresistible Freebie and Amazing Deals

A ground rule is not to sell your product or service right off the bat of re-engaging your neglected email list. However, this tactic may be used with caution.

The way to go about offering such deals is to share an incredibly valuable and helpful freebie. This is a tactic referred to as a lead magnet.

The content could be in the form of videos or written format since these are the lead magnets with the highest conversion rates.

When providing the subscribers with value freebies, it should resonate with them. Thus, it should be carefully crafted to speak to their needs.

Nailing this can most likely sway them to stay on your email list. And likewise, it goes further to provide you with added information for your email campaign strategies.

If you’re looking for the type of freebie ideas to create, here are some examples;

  • E-books
  • Free courses and webinars
  • Email courses
  • Give away and competitions
  • Offer discounted upgrades
  • Offer expert advice
  • Free trial and sample products
  • Swipe files, etc.

To keep the interaction going, always include a call to action button. The CTA should be clear and straightforward as to the action you want the subscriber to take.

Learn from your Mistakes

Try not to beat yourself up about neglecting your email list. What you need to do is to learn from your mistakes. It might not all align-right after you begin your email list re-engagement process.

But it helps when you are consistent because lack of inconsistency is what led you here in the first place.

When you struggle to stay consistent, keep retracing your steps back to why and how your list became neglected.

Learning from your mistakes can serve a great deal in keeping you from falling back into the trap of inconsistency. Of course, you also need to back it up with a well thought out email marketing strategy.


The process of re-engaging subscribers on a neglected and old email list can be tasking but financially rewarding. At first, it might be difficult to let go and have your contact list drop by almost 60%.

But having a healthy email list is much effective than having mere numbers filled with inactive subscribers.

Once you have trimmed your list, you need to understand why the active ones disengaged. The feedback response will help you come up with personalized email content that gives them a reason to return.

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